3:51pm: The injury will not require surgery and is considered “weeks thing, not a months thing,” Matt Gelb of The Athletic was among those to tweet.
2:14pm: The Phillies announced on Thursday that they’ve placed Rhys Hoskins on the DL with a fractured jaw and recalled outfield prospect Dylan Cozens from Triple-A Lehigh Valley in his place. Additionally, the Phils recalled right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. and cleared a spot on the roster by designating fellow righty Drew Hutchison for assignment.
Hoskins incurred the fracture on Monday this week when he fouled a ball into his jaw and was forced to exit the game. Initial x-rays proved to be negative, it seems, as Hoskins somewhat remarkably hit a pinch-hit double a day later on Tuesday. However, a CT scan revealed the fracture last night. At the time, he was reportedly set to return to Philadelphia for further evaluation by an oral surgeon. The Phillies have yet to announce the findings of that exam, though surgery was at least mentioned as a possible option.
Until the Phils make that announcement, there’s no way of knowing just how long Hoskins will be sidelined. In his absence, though, the organization will turn to former Cozens, the former second-rounder who has long held intrigue due to his light-tower power but has also displayed considerable struggles making contact in Triple-A.
It’s the first call to the Majors for the 23-year-old Cozens, who garnered plenty of attention with a 40-homer campaign as a 22-year-old in Double-A. Cozens posted an overall .276/.350/.591 batting line that season in a year which he and Hoskins were teammates who served as a source of great excitement for Phils fans. However, while Hoskins ascended to the Majors late in 2017 and took the big leagues by storm over the season’s final two months, Cozens struggled with a strikeout rate north of 35 percent in Triple-A. Overall, between 2017 and 2018, he’s batted just .214/.307/.424 with a 36.4 percent strikeout rate in 739 PAs at the Triple-A level.
With Hoskins on the shelf, the Phils could utilize Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr as the primary outfielders, although given Altherr’s struggles against righties, perhaps the makings of a corner-outfield platoon are present at Citizens Bank Park.
As for Hutchison, the 27-year-old made the Opening Day roster after coming to camp on a minor league deal, but he’s scarcely been used by skipper Gabe Kapler in recent weeks. Hutchison posted a 2.76 ERA with a 16-to-8 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings of relief from Opening Day through May 4, but he appeared just two more times over the remainder of the month. The Cardinals tagged him for five runs in a long relief appearance on May 18, and he allowed a run in two innings to the Dodgers yesterday.
In all, Hutchison has a 4.64 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 in 21 1/3 innings this season. He has experience starting in the Majors and is earning a fairly minimal salary, so perhaps a club in need of some rotation depth or a long man in the ’pen would be interested in adding him to its ranks, be it via waivers or a minor trade.